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#179939 - 08/19/05 05:51 PM Inch perfect.
McSensei Offline

Registered: 06/15/05
Posts: 1069
Loc: Kent, England
I was looking at a couple of highly respected karate clubs recently and realised that the attention to detail in the performance of their kata was conspicuous by its absence.
IE, front leg knee caving in while in zenkutsu dachi, back leg not straight in the same stance, punches landing at inconsistent heights, hips not fully engaged while punching and a whole host of other things that would get the "Do it again" from my instructors, yet not a mention in these 2 clubs. Most of the time the students were just encouraged to do it faster, with the resultant loss of good technique to a greater extent.
Do members feel that kata should be trained until it is inch perfect, but not bullet speed, or is it more important to learn the pattern to a reasonable standard, but fast and then move on to learn the applications. My own clubs philosophy on this is to train the kata to be inch perfect, (well almost) before looking seriously at applications. The theory being that if you can't do the techniques against an imaginary opponent you don't stand a cat in hells chance of performing them against a resisting one and that speed is not as important as good technique, timing etc.
Any thoughts?

#179940 - 08/19/05 07:14 PM Re: Inch perfect. [Re: McSensei]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
Im proberly in a minority on this one, whilst I strive (slowly) to have inch perfect technique - it doesnt rule my karate progress.

Life is just to short, with not enough hours to train as i would like. I need to see other aspects of karate trained to feel like im 'doing' karate, and for it to have use in my life.

whilst it has its place, big long winded technical discussions simply do my head in.

do it, try it again, and again ok lets move on is my motto.

however there are times when repetition to improve technique is the sole goal in a session, usually once i have highlighted a 'major' problem.
Jim Neeter

#179941 - 08/20/05 12:40 AM Re: Inch perfect. [Re: McSensei]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
like spending 'quality time' with the $1 a minute streetwalker - fast and sloppy. I've heard the fast kata come up a few times now...must be a new fad or something - or maybe the music that they are performing kata to has gone prestissimo.

They used to have water at they now serve coffee?

#179942 - 08/21/05 06:21 PM Re: Inch perfect. [Re: McSensei]
kenposan Offline

Registered: 08/23/01
Posts: 633
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
I think form and application go hand in hand. I can take years to get a kata "perfect", and while you spend all that time learning the "dance" you miss out on the self defense aspects. For me, learning what the kata means and performing the techniques with a partner reinforce the solo practice, and vise versa.
The angry man will defeat himself in battle, as well as in life. -Samurai maxim

#179943 - 08/21/05 06:37 PM Re: Inch perfect. [Re: kenposan]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
You said what i meant perfectly there. Many thanks
Jim Neeter

#179944 - 08/22/05 12:07 AM Re: Inch perfect. [Re: shoshinkan]
Mark Hill Offline

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 1068
Loc: Australia
You can't expect great technique until 3-4 years.

It is wasteful not to teach applications for this long. As their general technique improves, then so will the application. This will happen quicker if the application is taught quicker.

Some dojo's simply have different focii...

#179945 - 08/22/05 05:43 AM Re: Inch perfect. [Re: Mark Hill]
shoshinkan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 2662
Loc: UK
im still looking for great technique after 20 years.....
Jim Neeter

#179946 - 08/22/05 07:17 AM Re: Inch perfect. [Re: McSensei]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Our club trains the kata to be performed as perfect as that can possibly be. We only teach 2 kata's upto to Black Belt, add a 3rd for 2nd Dan and 2 more for third Dan. This way our guys have plently of time to get it right and really understand the kata. My instructor (and Daddy - When you going to post here you old git????*** ) is a real stickler for attention to detail when it comes to kata!

***He has been threatening to start posting here for ages, I'll try and gee him up tonight!
Gavin King
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

#179947 - 08/22/05 07:30 AM Re: Inch perfect. [Re: McSensei]
horizon Offline

Registered: 07/24/05
Posts: 143
Loc: London
Well, I am only doing karate for a year, so I can’t really give a good opinion yet because everything is so new for me.

What I can tell you is how we practise kata. Because we only have 3 classes per week, time is limited. One class a week is dedicated to kata. We practise the katas suited for our rank and I think there is quite some focus on good form, stances, accuracy of punches/blocks/kicks etc. Once in a while we also practise kata with ‘real opponents’, people will attack and you do your kata blocking their attacks and counter attack so to speak. Sometimes only the instructors show it with ‘real attackers’. This way the techniques used in the kata get a ‘real tone’ to them I guess And you will have to really aim your punches/kicks etc to the right height. Focus is also more on correct technique then on speed, first be able to do the kata good on a slow/intermediate speed before you can think about doing it quickly.

Unfortunately 1 hour a week focussing on kata is not a lot, especially because we also need to cover other areas such as self defense etc in the other classes. So the instructors stress that it is also your own responsibility to practise kata at home or whenever and where-ever possible. Especially now there is a tournament is coming up (kata and sparring) there is a big focus on kata and it being inch-perfect.

I do enjoy practising my kata and really notising that it gets better (although I am still sooooo far away from knowing it well of course, I realize I am just a newbie , and also I do realize that it will take years of experience to get things even close to perfect).

So, that sums it up for me. And you never know, maybe one day I will have my kata inch-perfect (one can always dream ), if I at least trained as much as most guys/girls on this forum. For now (and coming years ), I just listen to my instructors when they say: do it again, more focus, better aim, better stances etc.
Ichi Nichi Issho - one day, one lifetime

#179948 - 08/22/05 07:49 AM Re: Inch perfect. [Re: Gavin]
Mark Hill Offline

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 1068
Loc: Australia

I'll try and gee him up tonight!

I have only ever seen Australians use that term. Turn it up!

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